Two men yelled homophobic slurs before shooting and killing a gay man as they tried to rob him as he walked home from a MARTA station in Decatur.
Witnesses said Ronald “Trey” Peters, 28, was on Orchard Circle on Tuesday about 8 a.m. when two men drove up and demanded that he give up his backpack, according to CBS46.
“When Trey jerked away from him and said ‘it's my bag, you're not getting it,’ the driver got out with a louder voice yelling 'give him the f-ing bag, f***,” Kevin Pickering told CBS46. “The passenger walked back toward the vehicle and the driver got out and started firing,” he added.
Pickering told CBS46 that Peters (photo) was shot twice. Pickering stayed with Peters to wait for an ambulance.
“I told him that he ain't here by himself that somebody is here with him and we are going to make sure we to try to catch the people that did this to him,” Pickering said.
Peters was a personal injury case manager at Regional Medical Group in Decatur, according to his LinkedIn profile.
The suspects had been targeting and harassing Peters because he was gay, according to neighbor Tracy Levine.
“Apparently [Tuesday] he decided to not go into work because of this and had turned around to walk back from the bus stop past my house,” she told Project Q Atlanta.
Peters’ boyfriend, Titus Davis, told CBS46 that Peters was on the phone with his mother right before the shooting.
Peters was “pretty well loved,” Levine remembered.
“He was a really sweet, gentle person. Very creative, a seamstress,” she said. “Just wouldn't hurt a soul. Almost shy for lack of a better word.”
“The last time we spoke, he came by and hung out with my mom and myself for an hour or two and she gave him some really beautiful fabric. He was pretty excited to use it,” she added.
Witnesses said the suspects were wearing facemasks and driving a burgundy Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with dealership tags, according to CBS46.
The DeKalb County Police Department did not respond to Project Q Atlanta’s questions about the homicide. The suspects apparently have not been arrested.
The incident was one of three murders in DeKalb County in a 24-hour period.